Chicago vs Neighboring Suburbs

We all can identify ourselves as one type of person: you’re either from “the suburbs” or from “the city.” Whichever you prefer can have its own pros and cons. If you’re currently deciding whether to reside in the city or in Chicago’s neighboring suburbs, here are a few things to consider:

Noise and Traffic

As you may expect, the city is always a busier place than the suburbs. This is due to the high population density. This basically means that if you're in Chicago, expect a heavy load of traffic, especially during rush hour. Sometimes, traffic may unexpectedly be rough due to accidents or poor weather conditions. Weekends also tend to be busy as people are out with their families or just spending the day downtown. In terms of traffic, the suburbs win.

Public Transportation

One of the wonderful things the city has to offer is public transportation. With the CTA system, you have access to any part of Chicago. If you're in a rush, you could always take the train to work, school, or even just to hang with your friends. Although the suburbs do offer the Metra, it is costly and does not run as often as the CTA does. The CTA has discounts for students, children, and seniors; you could travel long distances for cheap rates.

Diversity

Chicago is known to be a very diverse city overall. It is home to people from all over the world. Although there is some diversity in the suburbs, it is fair to say that the city (especially downtown Chicago) is a place where different people interact on a daily basis.

Excessive Taxes

If you're debating whether to shop in the city or a neighboring suburb, choose a suburb! Not only do certain products and goods cost more in Chicago, but there are taxes on bags too. Avoid paying seven cents for a plastic bag by shopping elsewhere.

Parking

Driving to downtown to spend the day out with your family? Here's some advice: DON'T! It is rarely a good idea to drive downtown because of the costly parking rates. Parking is overpriced and charges you by the hour... that is if you can even find a spot that isn't taken already. You're better off taking the train or an Uber into the city.

Population

This one is subjective: if you tend to like living around people, the city is definitely for you. Urban neighborhoods tend to be noisy and very clustered. Houses in the city are closer together and neighborhoods host more people than in a suburb. If you're the type of person that wants to avoid noise and a busy environment, the suburbs are a better place.